We began our cruise by staying at the Radisson at the Port in Port Canaveral. Big Mistake. I had read good reviews regarding it and booked it for the park and cruise rate. Our room was terrible, dirty, dated and worn looking. Would not do that again... But on to the cruise.
Embarkation was easy as others have noted. We arrived at 10:30 and were on the ship and having lunch at the buffet at 11:15. The ship was beautiful. We found it easy to navigate. Our room was mid ship which is definitely an advantage and we quickly became oriented. We simply used the maps located at the elevators. Speaking of elevators. We did not find the lines or waits any longer than previous cruises. When have you stayed in a hotel and not waited for an elevator?? Yes, the ship had 4,000 people aboard, but there were always seats available in public areas. We are not sunbunnys, thus did not seek out chairs at those areas. We had a suite for the first time. It was awesome. The bathroom with whirlpool tub and douple sinks was well worth it. I found the room to be quiet, never heard neighbors even on the balcony. The room steward did a good job, ice twice a day, room very clean. It was difficult to hear the overhead announcements in our room and there were no speakers on the balcony. TV channels were limited, but adequate.
Dining options. Carnival has the anytime dining down to an art. Having a separate area for anytime dining is a great idea. I have used this option on two other cruise lines and this was definitely the best. There were always tables for two available. We asked for our same waiter each night and this was not a problem. We only had to wait one night for a few minutes. The food was great! It was always as ordered and the correct temperature. Having an extra appetizer was not a problem.. Our waiter addressed us by name each night and remembered our preferences even how we liked our steaks, amazing!! The lido buffet was the usual. We did enjoy the pasta bar, deli, pizza and omelet station.
Entertainment. The dancers were good, the lead singers were okay, but the female lead was too loud. I was looking forward to the Motown show and it was a big disappointment. The format needs total revision. Dancing in the Streets was great!. We always arrived early to get a good seat.
The smell: it was fleeting at most until our last day at sea when it was terrible in the photo gallery! We simply left it behind and went to the shops. Someone told me that it was noted at the water slides frequently.
Excursions were okay. We had been to all ports previously. The weather was hot but beautiful!! Blue skies every day.
Disembarking was quick and easy....we just did not want to leave. All in all, we had a great cruise!!! I am convinced that the negative reviews were simply written by negative people. A trip is what you make of it!!